Some of us tend to overindulge around the holidays, but if there is one night a year that nearly all of us imbibe a tad too much, it's New Years Eve. Sometimes the only cure for that morning-after frailty is a generous portion of slightly greasy, cheesy food. And yet the will to actually create that food is almost always lacking, and generally the idea of coaxing oneself into clothes and down the street to wait for someone else to cook it for you is daunting at best.
There is a simple, elegant solution to this age-old problem—prepare breakfast before you go out (and get into who knows what kind of shenanigans).
This strata comes together quickly, and actually needs to sit overnight in order to reach its full potential. The next morning, take your already prepared brunch out of the fridge and toss it into the oven. Accompaniments that go very well with this dish include sour cream, hot sauce in general (sriracha specifically), ketchup, salsa, and sliced avocados. If you've got the energy, a nice runny fried egg goes very well sitting on top. Serve this with a Bloody Mary garnished with pickles.
About the author:
Sydney Oland lives in Boston where she completed her graduate work in Gastronomy and Food Studies in 2009, after a Professional Chef diploma from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Find more information at www.sydneyoland.com (or read www.eatingnosetotail.com)
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 25 minutes
- 1 pound loaf Italian bread (day old, ideally)
- 1 pound loose sausage
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups milk
- 6 eggs
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- Salt and pepper
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 2 scallions, diced (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F degrees. Cut loaf of bread into 1 inch slices, then tear into large pieces (around 3 inches). Place on baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 minutes, tossing once. You may skip this step if using day-old bread.
Heat large skillet over medium-high heat, crumble loose sausage into pan, and cook until the sausage is no longer pink (about 7-9 minutes). Remove sausage from skillet, and place in bowl large enough to accommodate sausage and bread.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat, and add onion to the skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until onions are soft and brown, 5-7 minutes. Add onion to sausage and toss with torn bread and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
Butter a 9 X 13 inch pyrex baking sheet. Beat eggs well, then combine with milk and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the sausage-bread mixture into buttered pyrex dish and pour the milk-egg mixture over the top, pressing down on the bread with a spatula to ensure that the bread begins to soak up the liquid. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and scallion (if using), cover and place in fridge overnight.
The following morning (or early afternoon) preheat oven to 350°F. Bake until browned and puffy, about 45-50 minutes. Serve hot with any of the toppings mentioned above and a Bloody Mary.